The board of the $16.6 billion New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association, Santa Fe, N.M., at its July 13 meeting voted to refer a matter concerning the conduct of a board member to an independent investigator to scrutinize and to possibly recommend discipline, said Greg Trujillo, executive director in an emailed response to questions.
According to a Board Memorandum by Chairwoman Diana Rosales-Ortiz, on June 21 fellow New Mexico PERA Board Member Loretta Naranjo-Lopez asked Mr. Trujillo to use the PERA trust fund to pay for a newspaper advertisement supporting her re-election to the board. When Mr. Trujillo declined, Ms. Naranjo-Lopez responded with an email accusing him of election tampering and gross insubordination, according to a copy of the email attached to the memorandum.
Ms. Naranjo-Lopez added that Mr. Trujillo's refusal to pay for the newspaper advertisement "reveals (his) lack of qualification for the job."
In a subsequent email, Ms. Naranjo-Lopez said that she was appalled by Mr. Trujillo's disrespect by not paying to publish her re-election campaign ad.
"These are unacceptable statements," Ms. Rosales-Ortiz said in the board memo. "Mr. Trujillo acted to protect the assets of the PERA Trust Fund, as is required by law, and his correct actions were met with an accusation of a criminal act of election tampering and a threat to his employment. "
Ms. Naranjo-Lopez could not be immediately reached for comment.